HATCH Q&A with John Belford-Lelaulu of MAU Studio


HATCH participant John Belford-Lelaulu believes Pasifika, by nature, are entrepreneurs. It’s why he encourages other Pasifika youth to enrol into the programme. Being with business experts through HATCH, John has learned to experiment with his business, MAU Studio.


Read more about John’s HATCH journey in his Q&A.


John Belford-Lelaulu





Business Name

MAU Studio

How did you get into business / come up with your business idea?

A trip to the Philippines made us realise that we needed to create a Social Design practice. Receiving a grant enabled us to conceptualise the process we wished to undertake; in 2018 we are implementing this process.

Why did you apply to take part in HATCH?

A complex Social Design methodology requires time, effort, and patience. We applied to HATCH to enable us to focus more on our long term plan, by narrowing down on who we are impacting the most and how we can turn this in to a business model.

Have you had an AH-HA moment during HATCH / what was it?

Lol – Ah-hah moments come every time we speak with members from PBT. From the staff, to Masterclass experts, to talking amongst our cohort, we are constantly learning.

What is your favourite HATCH masterclass?

Paul and Morag.

Who is the most inspirational person you have met while on your HATCH journey?

Ana Saulala… her journey has been remarkable to watch.

Name three things you need to get you through the day:

1: Space
2: Food
3: Music

What is the best piece of HATCH advice you have received so far?

To keep experimenting – business isn’t linear – and MAU Studio is the furthest you can be from a linear business model – so it’s encouraging to hear that we will find our sweet spot by continually experimenting.

Why do you think other Pacific Youth should apply for the HATCH programme?

Because by nature we are entrepreneurs. It also allows us to explore how we can contribute differently, yet effectively, in society – by being Pasifika. It’s humbling to know we can bring our values into the workforce.

What words of advice do you have for future HATCH participants?

Learn what makes you fearful – then let go. It’s the most liberating sensation you’ll experience – letting go of your fear.

What has been your most memorable HATCH experience?

Watching our team grow – it’s been a memorable process.

How do you brainstorm?

By walking and thinking – then letting it rip on to a paper.

Do you have any HATCH words of wisdom?

That we can do it!

What is your goal at the end of your 3-year HATCH journey?

To have a viable business model and be set up as a legitimate organisation.

How has your business benefited from taking part in the HATCH programme?

We’ve continually been in the presence of business experts. It has allowed us to think differently about our businesses and how we operate as individuals – and how this may contribute to our business. We’re slowly starting to appreciate what makes us different.

What is your daily HATCH motivation?


Who inspires you?

My siblings, my family, my Pasifika community – and my Samoan culture.

Describe what HATCH means to you in 3 words.

Worth Every Second






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